This time around I had planned to head to Te Kuiti for lunch and then make a decision on which way to head home based on the time or how I felt. But, also on today was the Feilding Riders assault on Fields Track which had been postponed (well for some anyway) a couple of months ago. What to do?
In the end I headed off to Wanganui by myself, taking in Mt Stewart, Halcombe and Marton on my way. A quick stop for gas in Wanganui and I was off on the road again with the Parapara's firmly in my sights.
Even though the road was still damp in places the first section of the Para's was an absolute blast - all the road works on top of the hill turning the road into a paradise of fast sweepers. Further on up the road though there was signs of slips everywhere and I came across the messy remains of three real dooseys.
In the wet conditions (road, not weather - the sun was blazing down) these bits were a bit treacherous so I decided to pull over at the Raukawa Falls and try to text the other riders about the road conditions. (Note to self: no cell phone reception at Raukawa Falls and phones need recharging occasionally).
Oh well, nothing i could do about then so I kept on going Northwards to Raetihi. As I was pootling along I looked down at the time and thought that if I shot through to Waiouru I might be able to catch the others and let them know about the slips. Great a mission for the day!
In the end I got to Waiouru well before them and treated myself to half a pie (yuck) and coffee, chatted to a Wing pilot and generally just watched the comings and goings on in Waiouru for a while. At least it was a nice day in Waiouru - not even any snow on the ground.
Presently the others turned up and fed their bikes and themselves and I let them in on the excitement awaiting them on the Paras. There was also a few new faces to meet and two interesting new bikes: Al on a stolen Buell and another chap on a brand new Thunderbird. The bikes looked great and both the thief and the new owner were very happy with the bikes and having a ball.
After a bit arm twisting I decided that I'd better go with them to make sure they got through the Para's ok and didn't have too much fun without me so I turned the Connie around and followed them on out of Waiouru and onto Fields Track. Fields Track was in good condition again and we were forced to stop at the bridge again for photos and again at the top of the hill for more photos of the fantastic scenery.
Once off the track and onto the Paras again the pace could come up a little and as the road had dried out the slips were not a problem - just dust and grit to contend with. Another great run over the hill, a brief fright from some sheep on the road and we were soon parked up in the bustling metropolis of Upokongaro for a cold drink.
From here the group split up a bit with people taking different routes home, some taking the main roads and others including me extending the ride more by taking the back roads through Fordell to Hunterville.
Another quick stop in Hunterville for a drink and some gas and all that was left was to pootle quietly down SH1 before turning off for another run through Halcombe, Feilding and home. A fantastic day weather wise and a great to be out on a bike twice in one weekend. The PR2's are still hanging in there too...